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Basic Instinct (1992)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  20 March 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 126,242 users   Metascore: 41/100
Reviews: 291 user | 117 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A police detective is in charge of the investigation of a brutal murder, in which a beautiful and seductive woman could be involved.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Sharon Stone, William Baldwin, Tom Berenger


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lieutenant Nilsen (as Daniel Von Bargen)
Dr. Lamott
Bill Cable ...


A former rock star, Johnny Boz, is brutally killed during sex, and the case is assigned to detective Nick Curran of the SFPD. During the investigation, Nick meets Catherine Tramell, a crime novelist who was Boz's girlfriend when he died. Catherine proves to be a very clever and manipulative woman, and though Nick is more or less convinced that she murdered Boz, he is unable to find any evidence. Later, when Nilsen, Nick's rival in the police, is killed, Nick suspects of Catherine's involvement in it. He then starts to play a dangerous lust-filled mind game with Catherine to nail her, but as their relationship progresses, the body count rises and contradicting evidences force Nick to start questioning his own suspicions about Catherine's guilt. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A brutal murder. A brilliant killer. A cop who can't resist the danger. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Love Hurts  »

Box Office


$49,000,000 (estimated)


$117,727,224 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| (France)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, John Heard, Tom Hanks, Charlie Sheen, Michael J. Fox, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Al Pacino, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Sheen, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Quaid, Jeff Bridges, John Travolta, Richard Dean Anderson, Don Johnson and Chuck Norris were considered for the role of Nick Curran. Richard Gere was also considered and would later work with Sharon Stone on Intersection (1994). Wesley Snipes was offered the role but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. Denzel Washington was also offered the role but turned it down. See more »


When Nick Curran and Gus arrive outside and enter Johnny Boz's home at the start of the film, Nick's hairstyle is combed and wavy as he goes upstairs to Boz's murder scene. When Curran walks through Boz's bedroom to examine the crime, his hair is gelled and slicked back. See more »


Catherine: You know I don't like to wear any underwear, don't you, Nick?
See more »


Rave The Rhythm
Performed by Channel X
Written by Van Lierop, Praga Khan (as Khan) and Adams
Courtesy of Beat Box / Antler-Subway Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a thriller with an interesting twist on the old detective vs. a suspect who happens to be an irresistible babe as well as a hard as nails dame.
26 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I gave this film a 10 in part because 12 years after seeing it for the first -- and only -- time, it still evokes a spontaneous "wow, it was great" whenever I think of it. The screenplay was truly excellent in its genre, leaving you guessing and revising your guess throughout the film. It should also be commended for daring to portray an "uber"- homosexual with no apology to either conservative homophobes or the zealously politically correct.

Douglas merits praise for this performance, which was so good that I was able to put my intense dislike of him for personal reasons aside and worry about the safety of the character he portrayed in the film.

As for Sharon Stone, it only takes one performance like the one in this film to make an indelible mark. Superb. I had no idea who Sharon Stone was when I went to see this film and I left the theater as mesmerized by her screen presence as I had been by Faye Dunaway's in Bonnie and Clyde and Kristin Scott Thomas in Brideshead Revisited. The caliber of her breakthrough in this film matches that of Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential and Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted.

In much the same way as Glenn Close set the standard for a certain character type in Fatal Attraction, Stone established the standard for another character type against which all subsequent interpretations should be measured. If it were only to see how beautiful Stone is in this film it would be well worth the rental. She leaves as unforgettably stylish and seductive an impression as Rita Hayworth's Gilda did in a role that might be thought of as the anti-Gilda.

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